Wednesday, January 23, 2013

An Update on The Mormon Malian

A lot of folks are talking about the troubles in Mali and Algeria these days.  It seems that Northern and Saharan Africa are the next big trouble spots, taking their places alongside the Middle East, and Afghanistan.

Not long ago, as I was listening to the news about the hostages and the attacks against the kidnappers, my thoughts drifted back.  “Wasn’t there some report once about a Mormon that was running for president of Mali?”  At first, I wasn’t sure if I had confused Mali with some other country there on western Africa.  There are a lot of countries there that I’m vaguely aware of, but unable to properly identify on a map.

I looked it up, and, sure enough, that was the report.  I’m not quite sure of the details, but apparently the election was interrupted by a military coup.  Yeah Samake (the Mormon in question) has been still pressing the current government to step down and to allow the civilian election to proceed.

You gotta believe, though, that if he somehow manages to get into the top spot there, he will have inherited a pretty big mess.  In the meantime, he’s still the Mayor of the community where he started, and is still advocating for his country.  I also found it interesting that although he's the only documented Mormon in his country, a nation that's 90% Islamic, he says he's not been persecuted for his faith.  The most recent thing I was able to find on his story was this interview dated Dec 5, 2012.  

You know, I wish him well.  It will be really interesting to see what opportunities for national service come to him in the current crisis.  I haven't met him, so who knows what he's like up close and in person.  But reading his words makes me think a bit about King Benjamin, and his political treatise in Mosiah...  Time will, tell, and I know I’ll be paying attention.


Mark has a lifelong testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon Church). Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his Dutch Oven blog.

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